Slow-baked tomatoes with Blue Monday

Serves 4 as a starter

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Slow-baking is a good way of using up an excess of tomatoes you have grown, or cheap ones you have bought from the market. Once they are cooked you can preserve them in sterilised Kilner-type jars with a rubber seal, in olive oil with thyme, oregano or basil. Then use them chopped or blended into pasta sauces.

I've used Alex James's famous Blue Monday here, but any soft blue cheese would also be fine. As a starter you can serve it with a few leaves of rocket or a similar salad. I've used a few different varieties of tomato here to add colour.

10 medium-sized mixed tomatoes
1tbsp olive oil </br>2tsp chopped thyme leaves
1tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
150g Blue Monday or another soft blue cheese
3tbsp extra virgin olive oil
tbsp good-quality red wine or balsamic vinegar
A few herb leaves like bush or Greek basil

Preheat the oven to 120C/gas mark 1-2 (preferably fan oven). Halve the tomatoes, cutting through the core. Lay them, cut-side up, on a baking tray lined with lightly oiled greaseproof paper. Lightly brush over the olive oil and scatter the thyme, sea salt and black pepper.

Cook in the oven for about 2-3 hours until the tomatoes have reduced in size by about half. Some ovens may take longer. Leave to cool a little.

To serve, arrange the tomatoes on serving plates, break up the Blue Monday and scatter on top with the basil leaves, then mix the oil and vinegar together and spoon over.

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